“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” Psalm 37:7
One of the more uncomfortable postures in life is that of waiting. Waiting for a follow-up phone call on a job interview. Waiting for the doctor to call with the test results. Waiting for God to do something, anything, as we struggle on in a time of trial.
We simply are not practiced at waiting. Our globalization does not help in any of this either. We have instant most everything with that phone in the palm of our hands.
In God’s wisdom he often allows us to have to wait. Wise are those who intentionally wait on God.
God Waits on Us
“Yet the Lord waits to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:18
Did you know that God waits for us? The word “wait” in the above passage can also be translated “to long.” God longs to be gracious to us, he waits to be gracious towards us.
When we wait for God we are waiting on the One who has been waiting for us far longer. He is patient, kind, merciful, gentle – longing to extend grace to us. Don’t miss the beatitude in this verse – those who wait on and long for God are blessed.
Waiting is a specific act of humility. Waiting demonstrates that we cannot live our lives on our own initiative. We wait for God to show us the way to walk (See Isaiah 30:20-21).
An Advent Practice of Waiting
Waiting is one of the themes of Advent. This Sunday, 27 November, is the first Sunday of Advent. There are many who are accustomed to adding extra practices during Lent. What about Advent? We have four weeks leading up to Christmas Day that we could create a little extra space to sit still, quietly, in a posture of waiting for God.
What would it look like for you to do that? Maybe add a little extra time to the morning routine to sit quietly with an inner posture of waiting. I like to take extra time to read through journals, ponder the past year’s schedule and key events with an eye of evaluation and reflection on what God is up to in and through my life. I am seeking to hear from God during this time. Built into much of this exercise is time to wait still, quiet before the Lord. This time of annual review becomes a place of writing out prayers to linger over in the coming year in an effort to follow where I sense God is redemptively working.
How about you? How could the capacity of your soul toward waiting on God be grown in this season?
May your advent be one of experiencing the God who longingly waits to be gracious to you.